How do persons living with lower back pain experience disability in their daily lives? A qualitative study
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This paper describes how persons living with lower back pain (LBP) experience disability using the International Classification of Function, Disability and Health (ICF) framework. I conducted three focus groups. Participants ages 20-65 years, living with LBP and seeking chiropractic treatment for their LBP were recruited from chiropractic clinics in Toronto, Canada. Using the World Health Organization Disability Assessment Schedule (WHODAS) questionnaire to assess disability, participants were divided into low and high disability groups. An ICF-based focus group schedule was created to explore participant experiences with disability. A qualitative thematic analysis was conducted. Twelve LBP patients participated in this study. Participants emphasized how environmental factors impacted their experiences with disability. They struggled with the invisibility of LBP and were sensitive about others’ attitudes towards them. The results show a consistent feedback loop supporting the interaction between various ICF domains. My thesis highlights the importance of considering patients’ perspectives when managing LBP.